The left has been whipped into a froth by the prospect of removing President Trump from office by using the 25th Amendment. Reading comprehension has never been a long suit of regressives – they routinely distort, mangle, bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate the words of the right to accuse them of something they did not say. Well, if reading comprehension is their problem, they have outdone themselves on this one.
The 25th Amendment, added in the 1960s after the assassination of President Kennedy, provides that if the president is removed from office, through impeachment, death, or resignation, the Vice-President “shall become President.” As odd as it may seem, there was no constitutional directive on this matter before. It was routinely done, as a matter of custom, but the Constitution itself was strangely silent on this subject before the 25th Amendment.
What has caused all the salivation among regressives (they want to drag us backwards instead of forwards) is Section 4, which contains the now much discussed provision that a simple majority of the Cabinet may determine that a President is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Once they deliver a letter to this effect to Congress, the Vice President “immediately” becomes the Acting President.
However, – and this may come as a surprise to Never-Trumpers and Anti-Trumpers all across the fruited plain – those who crafted the 25th Amendment built in a fail-safe mechanism so that this amendment could not be used to bring about a coup d’etat. The fervid coup d’etaters would know this if they bothered to read the next paragraph.
The very next paragraph makes clear that if the President disagrees with the assessment of the majority of his Cabinet, all he has to do is send a letter to the Senate and House leadership and he immediately resumes his post as President. Here’s how it reads:
“Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office…” (Emphasis mine.)
In other words, if the President says to his Cabinet, “You knuckleheads are dead wrong. I am perfectly capable of running this country and I’m gonna do it,” he’s immediately back in the Oval Office and back in action. The people that think that Trump could temporarily be removed from office and accept it haven’t been paying attention. The possibility that the President will say, “Man, I’m sorry. You guys have been right all along. I got no business being in the Oval Office. My bad. I’m outta here,” is nonexistent.
The only way the anti-Trumpers can get his removal to stick is to get the Cabinet to send their letter to both Houses of Congress again, and then persuade two-thirds of both houses of Congress to agree with them. With the president’s popularity among his base, the vast majority of Republicans in Congress know they would be signing their own political death warrant to cast such a vote.
Bottom line: if Anti-Trumpers and Never-Trumpers want to get rid of President Trump, they’d better come up with a new strategy. The 25th Amendment ain’t gonna get it done.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Northwest Connection.)